An Advisory Committee of members of Native American communities has reviewed the texts and images in this Image Gallery and in the Native American Images Digital Collections. We have followed their recommendations in shaping the website and deciding which images to show, and are very grateful for their assistance.
In assembling this Image Gallery and posting images on-line, we have been mindful of issues of cultural sensitivity. Though pictures of sensitive subjects (such as sacred ceremonies) exist in the American Philosophical Society’s collections, we have not included them on this website. Those images are, however, available to researchers and scholars on-site at the APS Library in Philadelphia.
Some of the images seen here may reflect the prejudices and stereotypes of the era in which they were produced. They are reproduced here for study and critical examination as part of the historical record. With the assistance of the Native American Advisory Committee, we have endeavored to provide some historical context and, in several cases, reinterpretation for these problematic images.
We have made efforts to use respectful language throughout this website and in cataloging the images. Some image descriptions, however, are derived from original documents (such as an anthropologist’s inscription on a photograph) and thus may contain outdated language.
Please note that these images are only a very small selection of what the APS holds. For every image seen here online, there are hundreds more available for research and study on-site. In addition, this Gallery, and the APS’s collections, are not necessarily representative of anthropology or Native American history in general. For more on the APS’s collecting history, see Then & Now.